Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanks to your hard work at the grocery stores you've made this Thanksgiving a memorable one for millions of families across New York State. From everyone at Local 1500, we'd like to thank you for your hard work this week and wish you and your loved ones a happy & healthy Thanksgiving!


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday Morning One Liners

Baltimore's City Council approved a Walmart project, protesters failed to convince a single lawmaker to vote against the project, asking Walmart to agree to pay workers a living wage of $10.59 per hour instead of a $7.25 minimum wage.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (NYSE:GAP) slid 7% to $3.36 on over 375K shares. SO far this year, the stock is down over 72%. It has a 52-week range of $2.50-$3.34. It has a beta of 2.20.

Price Chopper CEO fights union efforts | The Business Review: Neil Golub, president and CEO, sent a letter to about 24,000 employees at 128 stores in the Northeast telling them joining a union is not in their best interest and that signing union authorization cards would forfeit some of their rights.  
 
New York City announced the first ever Small Business Saturday, in an effort to bolster sales at local stores.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday's One Liners: Walmart Woos Al Sharpton...

Alec Baldwin stars in a new Wegman's commercial. More on his love for Wegman's @ Buffalo News.

UFCW Campaign Goes Global: The United Nation's International Labour Organization (ILO) found that Canada and Ontario, through Ontario's ban on farm unions, are in violation of basic human rights' provisions under two United Nations' conventions.

The Albany Times Union covers UFCW's organizing drive at a Capital Region Price Chopper, formerly Penn Traffic.

A new Shop-Rite is rumored to be opening in the Capital Region (Albany).

This weekend, ALDI, who is looking to grow their North East presence, opened their first store in Pittsburgh.

UFCW Local 21(Seattle) has reached a tentative agreement with Allied Employers, just in time for Thanksgiving week.  More @ SN.

Walmart's new Ads highlight their
"generous" donations to nonprofits in NYC
Walmart is putting tremendous effort into opening stores in NYC, last month, they hired a former Bloomberg aide, and now Crain's NY reports: Walmart solicits black leaders for help in NYC. Unsurprisingly, they're also advertising on the same page the article is posted on with this ad [right] citing their donations to nonprofits in NYC.
Looking to strengthen its hand in any battle against unions and elected officials over its planned entry into the New York City market, Walmart has launched an effort to win over local black leaders.
The Walmart Guru, or Czar, Al Norman, wrote an excellent response citing all of Walmart's PR moves to get "inner-city support" throughout the country: Walmart's Wooing of Al Sharpton.
They have done this in Chicago, where the retailer enlisted black Aldermen to embrace their cause, and in New Orleans, where developers actually paid black religious leaders to testify at public hearings about the virtues of chain stores. Now they are mining the black community in New York City.
Wal-Mart apparently feels that opinion leaders in the minority community can be purchased at an everyday low price, and that black stakeholders can become Wal-Mart sign-holders. But community leaders of any color who believe that Wal-Mart creates new jobs, don’t understand what the economic libertarians call creative destructionism–the process of destroying existing jobs in order to create ‘new’ ones. The former employees at Circuit City, for example, understand this dynamic.
No amount of good works or philanthropy can clean the hands of the “filthy rich,” or cover over the global exploitation of human resources that lies at the heart of Wal-Mart’s success
Is Mayor Bloomberg supporting a Walmart?


Walmart is losing shoppers, not trips.

Newsweek covers the eating by class in America: What Food Says About Class in America.

The 86-Page report by the NYC Council which analyzes all aspects of New York's Food Industry, entitled "Food Works" was released today.

SN covers the lead and reusable bags problems.  At least two retailers pulled bags for the time being, one of them was King Kullen.
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Friday, November 19, 2010

Weeks End One Liners: BJ's Wholesale Club to Raise Membership Fees

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 08:  The Wal-Mart logo i...Image by Getty Images via @daylife

BJ's Wholesale Club announced they will raise membership fees.  They recently reported sales gains of 4.8%

Sheepshead Bites wonders if Walmart should come to the five boroughs.

Working in These Times also blogs about the potential Walmart in NYC.


Mike DeBonis of the Washington Post explains, it looks like Walmart is finally going to open in Washington D.C. with their 'urban' format stores.

Wall Street Journal and Washington Post report that Walmart plans on opening four stores in the DC area.

A tentative agreement has been reached between Albertson's and the UFCW in New Mexico.

The Teamsters said they'll honor grocery picket lines if UFCW Local 21 strikes.


Bottom Dollar Food Store is taking a vacant former Pathmark site in Trenton. NJ.com says Bottom Dollar is looking to expanding across the state.


Ahold doesn't meet sales expectations, says sales in U.S. are strong.

Baseball's, Levi's, Converse & Dell Computers, see what else made the list at Yahoo! Finance: 18 Iconic Products that America Doesn't Make Anymore.

Tomato Workers Sign Historical Agreement in Florida:
After more than 15 years of struggle, justice may be just around the corner in the Florida tomato fields. In what workers call a “watershed moment,” the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) and the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange (FTGE) yesterday signed an agreement that will extend the CIW’s Fair Food principles to more than 90 percent of the Florida tomato industry.
Migrant workers in Canada bargain historic contract:
A group of seasonal workers in Abbotsford have won what their union says is a precedent-setting contract that includes higher wages and benefits like overtime pay and statutory holidays.

NYC & Greater Area

Bloomberg "trims" thousands of jobs to cut budget.

New Jersey, due to an unclaimed property law that was recently passed, unused gift card balances were being sent to the State after two years of inactivity.  This would of course help the budget deficit that the State faces.  The Jersey Food Council won an injunction to put an end to the State collecting the revenue.

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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Mid-Weed One Liners: Aldi is Coming to the Bronx, Queens and Long Island

Aldi Süd, TrierImage via Wikipedia

Aldi begins to make Footprints on NY 

Aldi is coming to Long Island, The Bronx and Queens according to a report from Newsday [subscription].

Aldi, coming to Pelham Gardens in the Bronx, as News 12 reports.

On Tuesday it was reported that King Kullen pulled reusable bags from the shelves due to lead concerns.  More @ CBS News.  Now they're saying their reusable bags have tested safe.
 
Fairway Market in Douglaston is set to open in Spring '11.

UFCW 21 has called in a Federal Mediator for their negotiations.
Whole Foods enters Walmart's territory, OKC.

Walmart lost a development fight in San Diego: City leaders voted to force big-box retailers that want to sell groceries to study how a store will affect the surrounding neighborhood before a building permit is considered.

Officials in a suburbanRochester town have rejected a local Walmart store's request to remain open through Thanksgiving night into the morning of Black Friday.

A union effort is underway to organize Price Chopper stores, some of whose hourly employees were represented by UFCW when they worked in the recently sold Penn Traffic stores.

In Pennsylvania, a Giant Eagle worker was arrested for talking "Union" in the store, and found not-guilty.

NY State Senator Savino (Staten Island) teamed up with our brothers and sisters in RWDSU 338 donating turkeys.
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday's One Liners: Walmart on 6th Ave? Really?

Would Walmart fit on Sixth Avenue? DNAinfo is reporting Walmart's renewed push to open a store in East Harlem or Sixth Avenue.  The story also reports Walmart tried to bolster some NY Public Relations by becoming the principal sponsor of last week's Veteran's Day Parade.

NPR: Walmart competes for New York City shoppers by offering free shipping.

The ACLU is suing Walmart for firing a medical marijuana patient.

In South Africa, where Walmart is attempting to take control of retail market, the government has set up a panel to study the economic impact Walmart will have.


Nick Shulz of the American thinks Union's need a better argument against Walmart after the NY Post's (notorious Walmart supporters) continued biased statistics of New Yorkers' shopping habits at nearby Walmart.

Those who think we need a better argument (including Mr. Shulz) should read Amy Traub's recent piece in the Huffington Post, entitled "New York's Lousy Jobs (And how we can make them better)" A must read.

UFCW Local 21, UFCW 81 and Teamsters 38 [Seattle]– bargaining in concert- are set to resume bargaining this week. [The Olympian]

A longtime employee of the Whole Foods Market in St.Louis is suing the company for firing her after she complained to her superiors about the alleged mishandling of organic produce.

For all you Social Media users, the NLRB announced that Worker Rights extend to Facebook, check out the synopsis in UFCW International's Blog: http://ufcw.blogspot.com/2010/11/worker-rights-extend-to-facebook-labor.html

Think your re-usable bag is good? Think again, a new report surfaced citing most reusable bags contain lead and are hothouses for bacteria according to reports from the NY Times and Daily News.

Supermarket News reports that retailers throughout New York met last month to receive more information on how to get publicly supported grants and loans that would help them build or improve stores in underserved neighborhoods in New York state — so-called “food deserts” that lack access to fresh foods.  We need to get the message out to our unionized operators to take advantage of these opportunities.  Stop & Shop opened in Far Rockaway last month receiving grants and loans in program similar to this.

New Dorp ShopRite donated 1,000 Turkeys to needy families. [Video]



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Friday, November 12, 2010

Weeks End One Liners: ShopRite may open in Patchogue, A&P Sells Six Properties


Walmart Wage & Hour suit Settled in CA
A U.S. District Court judge in Oakland, CA granted final approval this week to the settlement of a wage-and-hour class-action suit against Wal-Mart's California operations.

The settlement, which provides for a payment of between $43 million and $86 million, concludes more than four years of litigation concerning payment of wages to California workers. As part of the settlement, Wal-Mart also agreed to continue to maintain electronic systems that will protect the rights of workers. 

The Observer reports on Wal-Mart's latest sales pitch to enter NYC...a great read that counters the NY Post's endless Walmart support:
Yet it is just as possible that Walmart could undermine other city retailers who pay better wages, which gives people more money to spend at other stores, which also helps drive the economy. Less disposable income, less taxes, a greater housing burden, more welfare and so on
A ShopRite may be the previously unconfirmed supermarket to be moving in next to the Raymour & Flanagan furniture store that is under construction on the site of the former Home Depot on Sunrise Highway in Patchogue.

The struggling A&P announced on Tuesday they have agreed to sell six Pathmark locations to Winstanley Enterprises in a sale- leaseback transaction for $89.8 million. 

More @ Reuters.

Meanwhile yesterday A&P announced a new in-store marketing partnership.

Wal-Mart Opens New $115M Distribution Center Outside Calgary
Wal-Mart Canada officially opened today its new $115-million fresh-food distribution center in Balzac, which will serve as a hub for its wester Canadian stores. 

City Officials Try to Win Over Walmart Opponents
Baltimore, MD -- A proposed Walmart in the heart of the city is a step closer to becoming reality. The mayor and council said they believe the 11-acre complex will be a valuable economic engine for the for the city and they've managed to win over many community members who initially opposed the project. 


BJ's Wholesale Club is for Sale?[Buisness Week]
BJ’s Wholesale Club Inc. plans to run an auction to sell itself after receiving an offer from private-equity firm Leonard Green & Partners LP in recent months, said three people with knowledge of the situation.
BJ’s hired Morgan Stanley to help sell the company, said two people, who declined to be identified because the matter is private. Morgan Stanley will also offer to provide financing to potential buyers, or so-called staple financing.
More @ Bloomberg


Costco Argues Before Supreme Court For Ability to Sell Imported Goods For Less
Did the Issaquah box-store giant go too far by undercutting the manufacturer itself? That was the retailing quandary before the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday in the oral arguments in the copyright feud between Costco and the Swiss watchmaker Omega. 

The Examiner.com thinks Balducci's will return to Manhattan, sooner than later.

Battle between a Duane Reade and a Mom & Pop pharmacy in Williamsburg is growing...

Trader Joe's in Lake Grove (Long Island) will be moving closer to competitor, Whole Foods, into a vacant Toys 'R Us at the Smithhaven Mall plaza, the move will be finished in the coming weeks.

RetailWire: Trader Joe's moves in on Fairway's turf, Upper West Side.

25,00 members of UFCW Local 21 have been voting this week on an offer from four major chains: Safeway, Albertsons, QFC and Fred Meyer. They recently OK'd a Strike.
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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quick One Liners: Seattle UFCW Takes Strike Vote, Scarsdale gets a ShopRite

Walgreens Sues Wegmans Over Logo
Walgreens has filed a federal trade dress suit against Wegmans, alleging that the supermarket chain's stylized "W" logos are too similar to those of Walgreens. 


Wegmans Says No To Albany Stores
"We are not pursing sites in Albany or the Capital District"- Jo Natale, a spokeswoman for the western New York supermarket chain. 


New ShopRite Opening in Scarsdale 
"The brand new, completely renovated ShopRite of Scarsdale will bring more than 300 jobs to the local community, as well as new life and vitality to the Midway Shopping Center."


Trader Joe's Admits Its Crime Problem 
Brooklyn, NY--A new sign at the entrance to the popular supermarket reads: "We know it's hard to focus with so many amazing values in the store, but please keep a close eye on your belongings!"


Kroger Associates in Cincinnati Ratify New Labor Agreement
The three-year agreement provides good wages, high-quality affordable health care and a pension for associates when they retire. 


Seattle UFCW takes Strike Vote
Approximately 25,000 grocery workers and meat cutters in three union locals are scheduled to vote through Wednesday on an employer contract offer- an offer union officials have asked employees to reject while also asking them to authorize a strike. 


Whole Foods Sees Consumers Rebounding
Citing indications that its customers are spending more freely, Whole Foods Market said last week that its optimistic about its prospects for fiscal 2011. 




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Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick Recap of this past Election Day

By: Jessica Lynch

United States Senator (NY) Kristen Gillibrand visits a UFCW Local 1500 Represented ShopRite
Election Day results were deeply disappointing to the millions of voters who voted to support candidates that fight for hard working Americans.   Candidates who fight for everyday people who go to work to do their best to support their families. Although overall results throughout the country were not in our favor, we would like to thank all of you who went out to vote for values of equality, freedom and solidarity with our Union. Your votes helped send Carl Paladino packing by electing Andrew Cuomo for Governor and Eric Schneiderman for Attorney General. In the State Comptroller race, Democratic/Working Families candidate Tom DiNapoli won. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer kept their spots in the U.S Senate.  Another key victory was Frank Padavan's 38-year Senatorial reign ended, as it was toppled by Democrat Tony Avella on Tuesday night. "People voted for change, they voted for different representation," said Avella. We were not as fortunate with wins in other areas of New York. Overall the Democratic Party won New York and we would like to thank again all of you who went out and voted in this election.
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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Statement by Joe Hansen, RE: Midterm Election 2010

United Food and Commercial WorkersImage via Wikipedia
For Immediate Release November 3, 2010


PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK FIRST
Statement by Joe Hansen, President of United Food and Commercial Workers International Union
WASHINGTON - In stark contrast to 2008, the election of 2010 will be remembered because the results were fueled not by hope, but by anger, frustration, and fear. Working people have lost jobs, homes, and life savings. Young people have delayed college, and older workers are postponing retirements.
Empty and inflammatory rhetoric that derides health reform as “Obamacare” and demonizes leaders as socialists will not right the imbalance in our economy or help working people make ends meet. Our politics must rise to the challenges we face and provide sensible legislative measures that ensure a foundation for secure and stable communities.
When our new Congress convenes in January, will Republican lawmakers continue to obstruct the legislative process—as they have over the last two years—and continue to walk away from their responsibility to help govern? Or will they join with President Obama in an effort to put America back to work?
Working families have been losing ground for three decades. Household income has stagnated. Productivity is up, but wages are down. Hundreds of thousands of middle class jobs have been shipped overseas. And many of our elected leaders, complicit with Wall Street greed, stood by and let bankers make and break the rules, and when their house of cards collapsed working families paid the price.
All elected leaders should take on their responsibilities to govern and turn immediately to the pressing issues confronting working America with bold ideas, creativity, and solutions. To move forward, our country needs a national agenda that begins with an honest conversation about restoring fairness to our economy, and generating good-paying jobs that keep families secure and America strong.
We need an agenda that, in the short term, provides security for the unemployed with an immediate extension of unemployment benefits.
We need a dispassionate approach to legislation and policies that recognizes that service jobs—retail salesperson is the number one job in America—are the future of our economy and must become middle class jobs. We need to solve our broken immigration system, which would, if reformed, pump trillions into our economy and raise living standards for workers; create a sustainable energy program, and embark on infrastructure renewal that would put millions of Americans back to work.
American democracy goes beyond an angry vote at the ballot box. Working families care about building a better America because a better America means a better future for our kids and grandkids. The UFCW pledges to work with all elected leaders who are committed to restoring balance in our economy and rebuilding our middle class.
##
Contact: Jim Papian 202 466 1564 or press@ufcw.org
The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) represents more than 1.3 million workers, primarily in the retail and meatpacking, food processing and poultry industries. The UFCW protects the rights of workers and strengthens America’s middle class by fighting for living wages, retirement security, safe working conditions, health care and immigration reform, and the right to unionize so that working men and women and their families can realize he American Dream. For more information about the UFCW’s effort to protect workers’ rights and strengthen America’s middle class. www.ufcw.org
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